• Trine Winther Schoubye
4. term, Learning and Innovative Change, Master (Master Programme)
The purpose of this thesis is to study the learning potential of mentor support for youth with mental health challenges in vocational schools.
Vocational education is challenged in its approach to education and has the largest drop-out rate from upper secondary education at 42%. Simultaneously, vocal education has the largest share of courses with special education support, which is compensatory support for young people with learning disabilities. Mentor support is the primary form of support for this group.
Despite well-documented research on the effect of special educational support on upper secondary education in relation to coping with other young people, there is limited research on the mentor function in vocational education from a youth perspective.
The purpose of the thesis is therefore to take a qualitative angle on the mentor support from a youth perspective as a supplement to already existing research.
Through a descriptive approach, a narrative empirical study is performed based on interviews with two young informants challenged with ADHD and Asperger's syndrome, where the method journey mapping is involved. Furthermore, professionals from the various learning contexts of vocational education are involved.
The learning potential of mentor support has been investigated on the basis of three theoretical perspectives: Thomas Ziehe's youth culture; Ole Dreier's decentralized learning perspective and Anne Morin's participation modification. Maria Bruselius-Jensen and Anne Mette W. Nielsen's methodological concept of facilitated participation is also included.
The thesis concludes that the mentor support contributes with crucial learning for young people with mental difficulties and strengthens the young people's identity development as well as mastery, action and a more engaged participation in the education.
In addition, the thesis highlights the following factors that are crucial for young people's learning potential.
A Trusting Relationship
A trusting relationship between the young person and the mentor is a crucial factor for the learning potential.
The young people are involved in their own learning, which increases their personal competencies for participation.
Outreach Approach
Professionals play a key role in young people's self-vulnerability, where unconditional acceptance and understanding of the young person is crucial. The outreach approach has an impact on the young people's reinterpretation process.
The mentors facilitate the young people's participation by creating an understanding of their reactions in the environment.
Based on the above factors, the thesis concludes that the learning potential of mentor support depends on the mentors' competencies. The individual mentor is thus essential for the learning that takes place.
The results of the thesis have a high relevance for contexts in which young people with mental challenges are included. With this knowledge of the factors that have an impact on the learning potential through the use of mentor support, it is possible to plan and develop support based on the thesis' conclusions.

Learning processes - Self-vulnerability - Daily living - Personal learning - Mentor support - ADHD - Aspergers - Involvement - Modification of participation - Intentional learning - Unintentional learning - Youth education - Vocational education - Identity development - Inclusion - Youth culture
Publication date5 Nov 2021
Number of pages79
External collaboratorUkendt
No Name vbn@aub.aau.dk
ID: 452284356